- “Don’t Owe. Won’t Pay.” Everything You’ve Been Told About Debt Is Wrong
- With the nation’s household debt burden at $11.85 trillion, even the most modest challenges to its legitimacy have revolutionary implications.
Charles Eisenstein, Yes! Magazine
If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.
Aug 20, 2015 | The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt was inseparable from the meeting of social obligations; it resonated with the principles of fairness and gratitude.
If one debt can be nullified, maybe all of them can.
The moral associations of making good on one’s debts are still with us today, informing the logic of austerity as well as the legal code. A good country, or a good person, is supposed to make every effort to repay debts. Accordingly, if a country like Jamaica or Greece, or a municipality like Baltimore or Detroit, has insufficient revenue to make its debt payments, it is morally compelled to privatize public assets, slash pensions and salaries, liquidate natural resources, and cut public services so it can use the savings to pay creditors. Such a prescription takes for granted the legitimacy of its debts.
Charles Eisenstein wrote this article for The Debt Issue, the Fall 2015 issue of Yes!
Magazine. Charles is the author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.
Full story …
Introducing The Debt Issue, Christa Hillstrom, editor, yesmagazine.org
Our Fall 2015 issue (of Yes! Magazine) shipped this week (Aug 20, 2015), and it's all about debt: bad debt, good debt, how to rethink debt. In our first big article from The Debt Issue, best-selling author Charles Eisenstein goes right to the foundation of the debt system and asks, "Is it legitimate?" I hope you find his article as fascinating and inspiring as we do. Also, watch for online-only debt content, like the essay below by a student-debt strike leader, and the story about former debt collectors who changed their tune.
Full story …